What A Disaster!

Disaster; that is the best word I can think of to describe the Trump administration to date. It appears the Orlando Sentinel agrees with me. With that in mind and using only recent examples let’s explore.

I guess I could commence by echoing the Orlando Sentinel’s Tuesday 2020 “presidential endorsement”. This traditionally Republican and self-described conservative newspaper printed an editorial endorsing anyone but Trump. They purposely ran it on the same day Trump was traveling to Orlando to officially kickoff his 2020 reelection campaign. The newspaper based their non-endorsement endorsement on Trump’s “achievements” to date.

Tuesday Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan withdrew from consideration for the permanent spot and was replaced by now Acting Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. Technically Shanahan couldn’t withdraw because in spite of a Trump tweet and being in the position for months his name was never formally forwarded to the Senate for confirmation. It appears that what got Shanahan were some skeletons in his closet involving domestic violence. This is far from the first time a Trump appointee has had a history of domestic violence incident(s). It is certainly not the first time a high ranking Trump appointee has had to leave their post in scandal. What kind of if any vetting is going on in the Trump administration? Does Trump even care? Consider this move is happening a day after Shanahan ordered another 1,000 troops deployed to the Middle East in what appears to be a deja vu of the run-up to the Iraq invasion and subsequent occupation. The difference is that Trump is making George W. Bush look like a management guru.

The bottom line on the move for the American people is that I don’t see much difference. Shanahan is a Boeing alum; Esper is a Raytheon alum. Both companies are major defense contractors. Does it really matter which alligator drags you below the surface?

Months ago I resorted to a spreadsheet in order to keep track of the comings and goings and “actors” in the Trump Cabinet. I generally don’t keep track of the sub-Cabinet positions. However on Tuesday within an hour of so of the Shanahan-Esper announcement the Washington Post announced that the acting Chair of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Ann Marie Buerkle, is stepping down in October; (note, another person in an acting capacity.) Typical of this administration Buerkle’s tenure was not without failure and controversy. Again the bottom line for the citizens will be much the same regardless of who Trump installs in her place. If you think Trump cares about consumer safety over the profits of his financiers I suggest you get on your roof and prepare it for Santa’s sleigh.

The United States hasn’t had a confirmed UN Ambassador since Nikki Haley bailed out of the job on New Year’s Eve 2018. What’s the rush? Why would the Trump administration worry about those pesky other countries anyway? Trump’s nominee, Kelly Knight Craft, is scheduled to appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee perhaps as soon as this week.   The Committee is controlled by Republicans and chaired by Republican James Risch of Idaho. Craft is the wife of coal baron Joe Craft, CEO of Alliance Resource Partners, LLC and a major Republican donor. Kelly is currently serving as our ambassador to Canada. I’d say that is one of the best posts available. Ottawa is a wonderful, English speaking city that is easy for an American to acclimate themselves to. With the benefit of having lived on the Canadian-American border for 47 years and just a bit of poetic license I often describe Canada as America with a better health care delivery system.

It seems Mrs. Craft doesn’t share my favorable view of Canada. Basically she has been an AWOL ambassador. A wealthy lady, Politico was the first to report that she has taken numerous flights out of Ottawa on her husband’s private jet to destinations in Kentucky including one for that “important diplomatic event” known as the Kentucky Derby. There have also been numerous flights to and from Tulsa, Oklahoma which just so happens to be the headquarters of Alliance. I’m sure the promotion to a job in New York City will make her a dedicated 24/7 government employee with only America’s best interests at heart. No I’m not!

Last Thursday Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announce she was leaving (like Shanahan, to spend more time with her family). If she will be replaced and if so by who are both open questions at this writing. She certainly won’t be missed by the American people. As far as the public is concerned the main job of the White House Press Secretary (which I will admit is a tough job) is to keep the American people as informed as possible of what the president is doing while not compromising national security in the process. Sanders had not conducted a press briefing (what old guys like me remember as the daily press briefing) in over 90 days as of her departure announcement.

Also on last week Thursday the office of Special Counsel (not to be confused with Robert Mueller’s office of a similar name) recommended that Kellyanne Conway be removed from federal employment for repeated violations of the Hatch Act. The Hatch Act (named for former Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch) prohibits federal employees from engaging in political activity during the course of their federal government duties.

At some point in their campaign most candidates rail against waste, fraud and abuse. Mr. Trump I have a suggestion for you along those lines. Simply, don’t replace Sarah and fire Kellyanne. In their salaries and benefits alone there will be a savings approaching $500,000. If you also get rid of some or all of their staffs we could easily be looking at over $1 million. Neither is of any use to the American people; therefore they are a waste. They both just basically lie (often to cover for you) so that covers fraud. They, while following your orders, abuse their positions. Kellyanne’s “redeeming factor” is the infomercials she does for Ivanka. I seriously doubt the vast majority of American taxpayers want to pay for that “service”.

When Trump took office many expected he would “grow into the job”; he hasn’t. When you couple the increasing boldness and desperation of his lawlessness it is only worsening. It increasingly looks like we will have to rely on the final check the founders put into the Constitution to get us out of this disaster– the American voters.

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